Can I taper if I didn’t actually train?

I saw a Facebook post from the Chicago Triathlon asking if everyone is ready to start tapering.

Uh?!

I guess it is about that time.  But considering I never actually started “training”, I never thought about tapering.  I’ve been too busy learning how not to drown and trying to limit the number of times I fall off of my bike (and get poison ivy) that I never actually started a training schedule.

I sure hope that doesn’t come to bite me in the ass.

But considering the way this whole thing has been going –  aka:  not actually being able to swim until 2 months ago, crashing my bike and getting poison ivy AND hives and dealing with shin splints on my runs – I don’t really know when I would have been able to slip in real and actual training into my schedule.

Lord help me because – I, the girl who lives by schedules, routines and plans – didn’t follow a plan for my first triathlon.  This could be really interesting.

Oh well, this whole thing has been a comedy of errors from the start so why do things the right way now?  Screw the taper…. I’m going full force right up to race day.  Which really just means I’ll continue to try to not drown or fall of my bike!

Until next time,

Gotta run (and swim and bike)

 

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If you’re going through tough times, keep on going

A few weeks ago my coach asked me what I’m going to do to get through the Fall 50.  He was specifically asking me how I plan to pull myself through the day if it’s tough or if I’m having a bad day.  I told him, “I don’t know, I guess I’ll just keep going”.  What I didn’t tell him, was that I knew exactly what I’ll do, it’s what I do for every hard race or training run.  I tell myself that this is just physical discomfort and that it’s so minor to other things I’ve been through in life.  I’ve lost jobs and I’ve lost both of my parents… those are things that are truly hard.  And if I found a way to get through that pain, then a simple run, wouldn’t be enough to take me down.

Getting through the Fall 50 has been on my mind nonstop since I started tapering.  It’s really going to happen and I really will have to get through the pain.  This is what keeps me up at night and what preoccupies my time.  I wish I could enjoy the taper and enjoy what I’ve accomplished so far during my training, but the damn taper demons make that damn near impossible.

So while I am trying hard not to vomit today from nerves (seriously, I feel like I could puke), I have to remind myself…. I’ve gotten through much worse things.  This is a simple walk in the park, albeit a 50-mile walk, but a walk/run nonetheless.   It’s nothing compared to things I’ve dealt with in the past.  So while Saturday may be tough at times, I just have to remember… I’m tougher!  And this time I at least get a poster or two to help me through!

Until next time,

Gotta run

#toostubborntoquit #doepicshit

Pitfall to tapering – mood swings

The taper before any big race is known to most people as the period where the runner/athlete scales back on his/her training to recover in time for the race.  However, for me, the taper means the 2-week period where I second guess every single thing I’ve done in the past months, convince myself that I’m not ready, get emotional over things I can’t control and have mood swings that would make even the most hormonal pregnant woman look calm and serene.

Taper Mood Swing #1:  The cover photo for this blog is from the finish line of my first marathon.  I’ve seen this photo a hundred times and I just love it.  It’s from a view-point that is pretty unique – you see us from behind with the finish line in front of us – and we are all alone.  My arms are in the air in celebration and I just remember how unbelievably happy I felt at that moment.  It always makes me smile, even yesterday when I saw it, I couldn’t help but get a bit nostalgic and happy while looking at that photo again.  But then I spotted my family on the sidelines of the photo.  I could make out my dad in the bleachers and that was enough to take my “high” down to a “low”.  I had a trickle of a tear fall down my cheek when I saw him and realized once again, that neither he nor my mom will get to see me finish the Fall 50.  My dad had only seen me run that one marathon and my mom never even knew I was capable of running more than a mile or two.  This just makes me so, so sad.

Taper Mood Swing #2:  I have known for years – ever since I even started to contemplate the thought of running the Fall 50 – that I wouldn’t finish this race within the imposed 11-hour cutoff time period.  It was never a thought that I’d be finishing within 11 hours and I’m okay with that.  Well, I was until yesterday.  The thought of doing all of this and “falling short” and not getting an official time really hit me hard.  In one single, hormonal mood swing I felt like I had wasted my time training because “it’s not even going to count”.  If it doesn’t count, then why the hell am I doing it?  All of a sudden, I very much wanted this to count and I wanted to finish within 11 hours but with my GI issues that force me to make so many bathroom stops, it’s just not realistic.  And then my sadness changed to anger.  Anger over the fact that I have such an unbelievably bad digestive system that I could conceivably add 30-60 minutes onto my time just for bathroom stops.  Seriously!?!??!  How is this possible?  How can my body be so fucked up?  How have I not found a solution to this problem?  And why do I have this and no one else?  Why, I ask, why?  It really fucking pisses me off.  I’m healthy and active, I should have a better handle on my body than this.  If it weren’t for my GI issues, there would be a really good chance that I could finish under 11 hours.  That’s a hard reality to come to terms with and one that makes me sad and angry.  Yesterday I was sad.  And yes another tear trickled down my cheek.  But today I’m angry.  I’m also angry that the cutoff time is 11 hours.  That’s bullshit.  And it’s arbitrary.  Unlike the Ironman, where no matter what Ironman you compete in, the cutoff is the same – 16 hours, 59 minutes and 59 seconds.  But there is no set standard for a 50-mile race.  I did a quick search today and I saw cutoff times as high as 13 or 14 hours.  Thirteen or 14 hours, that’s so not fair.

Taper Mood Swing #3:  I was in a good mood and excited about the Fall 50, but now, as I type this…. I’m so over it.  I have no excitement.  None.  Someone just mentioned race week and I had to fake it for her because I have no excitement. And it’s not because I’m nervous.  Right now, I’m nothing.  Not excited, not nervous, not worried, not anxious…. I’m just over it.  And even though, now at this time, I’m over it… I pity the person who I meet that doesn’t portray excitement about it.  I’d probably punch that person in the throat!

So yeah, taper mood swings are running full throttle.  But at this pace, I’ll cycle through all possible moods and emotions by noon on Thursday and then hopefully I’ll be back to being even-tempered and somewhat of a normal person once again.  But until then… if you are going to have any contact with me… good luck!

Until next time,

Gotta run

#toostubburntoquit #doepicshit

Stop – Taper Time

Man I LOVE the taper.  As evidence by this mini chalkboard sign I have hanging in my kitchen.

Taper Time

I had to run 3 miles this evening and I had absolutely no guilt for only running three little miles.  I was so giddy about my 3 mile, guiltless run that I must confess something. I must confess that I broke into some spontaneous MC Hammer… Hammer Time (it’s actually You Can’t Touch This) dance moves.  I’m not embarrassed to say that.  But I am more than embarrassed by my actual dance moves.  While I thought I “nailed it”, I could tell by my husband’s, “what the hell is that?” question, that I did not quite pull off a perfect rendition of Hammer’s move.

Oh well, I never claimed to be a dancer.  Hell, I’m not even much of a runner!

But if you’re feeling nostalgic and if you too are enjoying tapering… follow the link below to check out the video for You Can’t Touch This.  It’s an oldie but a goodie.

http://youtu.be/otCpCn0l4Wo

Until next time,

Gotta run.